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Population: Bomb or Bottleneck?
"What is our planet's planet's future with respect to demographics, economics and environment? As you take this quiz, you might be encouraged that future prospects are less dire than you believed."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
As lifespan increased and infant mortality declined, the rate of population growth accelerated. In the middle of the five-year period in which the population growth rate peaked, scientist Paul Ehrlich published an influential book, "The Population Bomb". In what year was Ehrlich's book published?
Plague reduced Europe's population by one third in the fourteenth century. World War II reduced the population of the Ukraine by nineteen percent. Since 1970 the birth rate has declined. What is the fundamental reason for a decline in birthrate worldwide since 1970, according to Pulitzer Prize winning scientist E. O. Wilson?
The AIDS epidemic
Should the trend in population change that began in the 1970s continue, what once unthinkable demographic event should occur in the second half of the 21st century?
World population will reach 20 billion.
Human expired respiratory carbon dioxide alone will reach a level high enough to sustain global warming.
Widespread starvation will spread to the industrialized nations.
World population will begin to decline.
The proportion of people living in cities has increased from approximately 7% in 1850 to 40% in 2000. For many, this evokes images of impoverished masses living in squalor. But does urbanization really equate to Eden lost? Which of the following is true of city life at the beginning of the 21st century?
Generally speaking, city dwellers are now healthier than those living in rural areas.
All of these
Social ties are as strong in the city as in the country.
Manufacturing productivity increases as city size increases.
Economist Jeffrey Sachs begins his article regarding poverty in "Scientific American" with the sobering words, "Almost everyone who has ever lived was wretchedly poor." From 1750 to 2000 the proportion of people living in abject poverty has steadily decreased. To what does Sachs attribute this dramatic improvement?
Non-governmental relief projects
The Industrial Revolution
Governmental aid projects
If developed nations were to increase their current spending on world poverty from its current level of about 0.25% of GDP (160 billion dollars) to 0.7% of GDP, and spent it properly, what effect on extreme poverty does Jeffrey Sachs believe it would have
Extreme poverty could be reduced by 50%.
Extreme poverty could be eliminated by 2025.
Extreme poverty could be reduced to 10% of the population.
Such spending would have no effect due to corruption.
Paradoxically, one half of the world's hungry are farmers. In Bangladesh, what amazing innovation was deployed for $50 million, increased farm income by $150 million and is utilized by 1.5 million farmers?
Deep tube wells with diesel pumps
A dam and canal system
Shallow wells with diesel pumps
A foot powered pump
As the world population and economic output increase, environmental pressures are mounting, particularly in the energy sector. Over ten years, DuPont Corporation reduced energy use by 7% and greenhouse gas production by 72%. What changes in costs and productivity have been associated with these innovations?
Energy costs decreased $2 billion; productivity is up 30%.
Energy costs increased 30% but productivity is up 20%.
Energy costs increased 10%; productivity is unaffected.
Energy costs increased $1 billion; productivity declined 10%.
Technological advances have increased the availability of energy, energy that has contributed to rising standards of living worldwide - albeit at the cost of increased pollution. A bioreactor filled with blue-green algae has been developed that receives hot flue gasses from a coal-fired power plant. What functions do the algae in this bioreactor perform?
The algae convert carbon dioxide emissions to oxygen.
Excess algae might be used as fuel.
The algae absorb nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.
All of these.
Harvard scientist E. O. Wilson expects a population bottleneck rather than an explosion in the next century. He believes that environmental pressures will continue to increase but then subside later in the 21st century. Which factor does he NOT expect to be needed to help us successfully negotiate this bottleneck?
More efficient resource utilization
Government mandated birth control
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Compiled Jun 28 12